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Roots Up!

Friday, November 19


The sensational Roots Up! Hip Hop festival will now take place at 6pm on Friday 19 November in Plymouth city centre, the day after the city’s Christmas lights have been switched on.

Underneath the sparkling festive lights, Street Factory will shine their own spotlight on Hip Hop music, dance and culture – including a mass dance challenge for the whole community.

The event is part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations, but has been delayed due to the pandemic. Working closely with Plymouth City Council, Street Factory is now able to present Roots Up! by utilising the fantastic stage set-up on the Piazza for the Christmas lights switch-on event.

Toby G and Jo Gorniak, founders of the multi award-winning Street Factory Hip Hop social initiative, were determined to fulfil their dream to showcase the talents of professional and emerging artists and to demonstrate that Hip Hop is a positive and inspirational culture that people of all backgrounds and ages can connect with.

Toby G said: “We are buzzing and so excited to bring Plymouth a night of Hip Hop culture and shine a light on talented artists from all over the city. Featuring home grown talent, dancers, rappers, and musicians, and it will be a night to remember 100%.”

The thrilling three-hour production will present multiple creative elements of Hip Hop, including breaking or b-boying, MCing, DJ-ing, graffiti, rapping, poetry and spoken word, plus a bonus touch of R&B.

A series of thoughtful Hip Hop theatre pieces will feature the skills of current members of the Street Factory family as well as those who have gone on to reach professional level in the wider world of Hip Hop, dance and production, plus original music and with themes chosen to reflect the Mayflower and the core values of Street Factory: Freedom, Humanity and the Future.

There’s also a mass dance, set to the inspirational soundtrack of a brand new Hip Hop track called STF That’s the Fam, its lyrics written by Jman & Lincoln Gorniak, to deliver a powerful message promoting the Street Factory values of respect, peace, love, freedom and having fun.

Street Factory has created instructional videos, so that everyone in the audience can learn the routine in advance and join in on the day.

Charles Hackett, Chief Executive of Mayflower 400, said: “The Street Factory family have been working incredibly hard on this fantastic performance, which reflects on the Mayflower’s journey in a new and exciting way. We’re delighted that they’re now able to present the Roots Up! show during Plymouth’s festive season and will be bringing a brilliant party to the Piazza.”

This event has been made possible with support from Arts Council England, Mayflower 400, Plymouth Culture and Plymouth City Council.

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